TECH
01/05/2018 10:58 BST | Updated 12/07/2018 23:52 BST

Windows 10 April Update: These Are The New Features You Should Care About

Updating is boring, but trust us this is worth it.

Microsoft has jut released its Windows 10 April update and despite the pretty boring name, there are a lot of extremely cool new features worth shouting about.

The update is completely free to download if you have a PC that’s running Windows 10. If you have Automatic Updates enabled you should get prompted to install the April Update on the 8 May.

If you’re really impatient and don’t want to wait then Microsoft has written a handy blog explaining how you can manually download it before then.

So without further ado, here are the best new features coming to Windows 10 with the April update.

Timeline

Timeline is by far and away one of the most useful features that Microsoft has included for Windows. It works in a very similar way to the Mac’s Mission Control button by showing every app you have open in one easy screen.

Timeline goes one better than that though because beneath those windows is a timeline of all the apps and web pages you had open so you can easily grab a document that you were working on a few days ago without having to go digging around.

It even works across devices so if you were editing a Word document on your iPhone and then press TImeline on your Windows PC, that document will appear.

Nearby sharing

Microsoft

One of the greatest things Apple ever did to aid my productivity was to invent AirDrop. It’s not perfect, but when it works it lets me transfer files, pictures and even large video files almost instantly between my phone and laptop.

Microsoft now has its own version and it’s called Nearby sharing. You can share documents, pictures or videos between any other Windows 10 PC that’s nearby via Bluetooth in a really quick and easy way. Sadly it doesn’t work with smartphones, or non-PC computers but then Apple’s is just as exclusive so you can’t have everything.

Quick Bluetooth pairing

Microsoft

Pairing something over Bluetooth has always been a hassle, but thankfully that’s about to end with the new Windows 10 update. Your PC will now search for any compatible Bluetooth devices that are next to it and then ask you if you want to connect. Just press ‘Yes’ and that’s it.

The feature currently only works with Microsoft’s own Arc mouse but it’s already in talks with Logitech to add the functionality in what will probably be the next few months.

Focus Assist

Tired of getting notifications and just need to get your head down and concentrate? Focus Assist is essentially a ‘do not disturb’ mode that lets you turn off all notifications from social media or instant-messaging apps and just concentrate on what’s in front of you.

Dictation (that actually works)

Now you might remember that back in 2008 Microsoft tried to debut full dictation on its PC (hint: it didn’t go well).

Well now dictation is back and this time it actually works. All you have to do is press Windows + H and start talking. Modern dictation software is now pretty accurate and Windows lets you dictate into any text field so it could be anything from a web address to a document in Word.

HDR Video

Microsoft

High Dynamic Range is arguably a bigger deal than 4K when it comes to screen quality. Why? Rather than simply adding more pixels, HDR improves the actual quality of the image that’s being displayed with deeper blacks and crisper brighter whites.

Windows 10 will now support HDR content, so as long as you’ve got a monitor or a laptop that supports HDR you’ll be able to enjoy the same improved picture quality that’s available on TVs and some smartphones.